Well, being the type of person who likes to further my knowledge of this fun sport in the way of some training, I thought I would share a recent experience with a relatively new riding school in the Lower Mainland. Some of you may have seen them at the motorcycle show in Abby a while back...that's where I made myself familiar with them.
Walked by the booth, and saw a couple familiar faces, Steve McKenna and Graham Street, both who've been known to post on this board, both experienced riders.
I first met Graham when I took my street training at BC Safety Council, and remembered that he had a passion for teaching, and did a very good job if it....worked for me anyway.
Some of you may remember Steve at a Bike Night last summer, when Bill @ 5thGear set up the cones for the lil 50's to race around for fun. Steve pulled in with his Goldwing and wheeled it around that tight course like a 50cc....pretty cool stuff to watch, I was inspired.
Steve was also an instructor at BCSC, so between the 2 of them, instant credibility was formed in my mind, based on my personal experience.
I could not help but show some serious interest when I walked by the booth and saw they, and a few key others, had decided to venture off and open a new school. What caught my attention were the courses, which were more advanced in nature, and were stepping stones to some of the really cool techniques that Steve was demonstrating that night at 5thGear.
These are good clips to watch, to give you a better idea of what Steve does, and saves me trying to explain:
This is Steve at the Northwest Motorcycle School, one-handed, clutch only.
Now, these are just snippets, but were things I had seen in the past, and enough to motivate me to want to learn some of those techniques.
So, off I went, about 2.5 weeks ago, to the 1st course that they offered, called "Base Camp"
The course consisted about a mixture of theory and practical, both were engaging, informative, and left me walking away with considerably more knowledge and skills than when I walked in.
Like most people, I was most excited about getting out on the bike, and initially less excited about the classroom component. Fact was, the theory was very interesting, absolutely relevant, and armed me with important information to make me a safer and smarter rider.
After Day 1, upon getting home, I could barely keep my eyes open past 6pm....the level of concentration I had exerted took its toll, and I was beat...in a good way
Here are a couple pics:
Day 2 started off with me swearing and pissed off, before leaving home, as it was starting to rain, and I knew some of the quicker riding, and more challenging drills, including emergency braking, were to take place.
Sure enough, by the time we started to get into the drills, the rain started to come down pretty good.
Fact is, getting into it, and having so much fun, I didn't care a bit.
Doing some of these drills on the wet pavement was a blessing in disguise, as some of the wet weather emergency techniques were always cause for concern, and having an opportunity to practice this type of stuff, in a relatively safe environment, under expert instruction, is about as good as it gets.
Time to break up some of the monotony with a few more pics, that better demonstrate:
So, what initially pissed me off, with respect to the weather, turned out to be very rewarding. I learned that my lil Strom has some decent brakes, and even on soaked pavement, would loft the rear wheel under very hard braking.
Before that, I would have expected to lose the front end when I grabbed a handful. Now, this was based on learning some good technique, on a controlled course, but after repeating it over and over and over, it started to become pretty comfy, and very confidence inspiring.
Later in the afternoon, when we went back to some of the really slow technical stuff, the sun came back out....figures!!! haha
So, anyone interested in taking some of their core competencies up a few notches, improving their safety and having a lot of fun, I would highly recommend getting in touch with Roadcraft, and giving it a go.
Prior to this course, I did my basic training with BCSC, completed an ART course 2 years ago, and have done some fun Pit Meadows track days.
You do not have to be an advanced rider to take a course like this; you just have to have a good attitude, and willingness to learn.
I hope this helps others who may have seen the Roadcraft people, and considered it themselves. Being the type of person who does a great deal of due diligence before taking steps forward; I felt this was be helpful for other like minded individuals.
Hope this doesn't sound like an infomercial, but when it comes to something I'm interested in, I always appreciate it when someone takes the time to explain and offer opinion, in detail....puts me in a better position to make an informed decision.